Tomás Ó Flatharta

Looking at Things from the Left

Archive for the ‘Left Wing Organisations’ Category

Socialists and Coalition with Sinn Féin – Colm Breathnach, Independent Left

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Colm Breatnach makes an important contribution here

SOCIALISTS AND COALITION WITH SINN FÉIN

Sinn Féin Oireachtas and Stormont Members on the steps of Leinster House, Kildare Street

Is a Sinn Féin controlled left government in the 26 County bit of Ireland possible or likely? Right now, a general election electing the next Dáil can be delayed until February 2025. The current FFFGGG coalition (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Greens and Gombeens) has a comfortable majority and will not voluntarily cut and run – unless it is forced to change course. Reliable opinion surveys show that, if a general election was held soon Sinn Féin is likely to increase its number of Dáil seats – but the current government would retain a majority. There is more detail on this important “technicality” in a note at the end of this article. John Meehan May 11 2022


SOCIALISTS AND COALITION WITH SINN FÉIN

The experience of Syriza, Greece warns against coalition with Sinn Féin

As the likelihood of a Sinn Féin led government grows, the prospect that the government might include radical left parties as coalition partners looms. But should socialists take up roles in government in coalition with Sinn Féin? Are there circumstances where this might prove to be necessary? Obligatory even? Now is the time to debate this issue, rather than being rushed into hastily made post-election decisions that could have a disastrous effect for the left in Ireland.

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“Ukrainian town fights off Russians and faces down hospital bombing” – Remember that name – Bashtanka.

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Introductory Note :

Daniel McLaughlin is an old-fashioned war-correspondent, who writes for the Irish Times. This report, published on Saturday April 30 2022, illustrates very vividly the real nature of the current war in Europe, the most dangerous conflict on the continent since World War 2.

This is a war of Ukrainian national liberation against a far-right ethnic-cleansing imperialist state headed by Vladimir Putin. The residents of Bashtanka, in the words of the town’s mayor, Aleksandr Berehovyi, decided to fight because “we had no choice”.

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Evasions on the Left Over Ukraine – Conor Kostick, Independent Left (Ireland)

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This is a strongly recommended article. The author is an experienced anti-war activist, an Irish historian and writer living in Dublin. He is the author of many works of history and fiction.. For more information read the information at this link : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conor_Kostick?wprov=sfti1. https://www.leftarchive.ie/people/2778/ Some of Conor’s political writings are here : https://www.leftarchive.ie/people/2778/

Wars are not light topics that can be dispensed of with simple formulas. I, for one, cannot imagine how the success of Russia would further the cause of democracy and socialism around the world. If you do, then say so, openly, so it can be debated in public. But don’t falsify tradition and history and hide behind pathetic slogans. To paraphrase Marx, we Marxists disdain to conceal our views and aims.

John Ganz, Ben Burgis’s Bad History: Jacobin’s anti-Jacobins

There is a type of left argument around the war in Ukraine which has arisen in the West. It is one that condemns Putin’s invasion, but refuses to offer practical support to the people of Ukraine in resisting that invasion. It is the position one can read in Jacobin, or in statements by Chomsky, Corbyn, and the Stop the War Coalition in the UK. In Ireland we have the same type of response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine from People Before Profit and the Socialist Party of Ireland.

I will use the label Evasionist Left for this approach. It’s not clear how representative this trend is internationally, as many on the left do pro-actively support the resistance in Ukraine, e.g. parties such Razem in Poland; those associated with the Fourth International like Left Bloc and the Danish Red Green Alliance; and the main left party in Japan, the Japanese Communist Party.

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Liberation for all; Ukrainian Resistance, Anti-Imperialism, and Global Solidarity

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In-depth: In an exclusive interview, Vladyslav Starodubtsev of the leftist Ukraine Social Movement discusses resistance against Russia’s war, solidarity with global struggles, and the importance of consistent anti-imperialism in leftist politics.

Vladyslav Starodubtsev is a history student based in Kyiv. He is a member of Sotsialnyi Rukh, or the Ukrainian Social Movement, a democratic socialist organisation dedicated to working-class organising.

The movement works with traditional trade unions as well as organising new and independent trade unions to advance an anti-capitalist and democratic program.

The source is The New Arab https://english.alaraby.co.uk/analysis/ukraine-anti-imperialism-and-global-solidarity?fbclid=IwAR0WctJeDSDi_XfdFmk4yZee8ft1vX-pMk82any29XiDyFfNmzLnYBYN86I

Simón Rodríguez Porras

14 April, 2022

The New Arab contributor Simón Rodríguez spoke to Starodubtsev about his experiences with the socialist movement, the ongoing Russian invasion, and international solidarity with other movements.

Sotsialnyi Rukh also advocates against the neoliberal reforms pushed by President Volodymyr Zelensky and works to defend women and LGBTQ+ rights, fight against environmental depredation and climate change, and counter the xenophobia and racisminstigated by the government and right-wing organisations.

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Internationalist manifesto against the war – Anticapitalist Organisations of Russia, Ukraine, and NATO Countries

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An excellent initiative.

Source : https://anticapitalistresistance.org/internationalist-manifesto-against-the-war/?fbclid=IwAR1iHwqdg8aV5k106Fodq-vJ7djLfWJ8EQLt0F7d3Ns7qzmcPHqRfkt4X4Y

Anticapitalist Organisations of Russia, Ukraine, and NATO Countries

The criminal war launched by Russian imperialism against Ukraine is the most serious threat to world peace since the end of the Cold War. It brings the world closer to a global conflagration than at any time since Mikhail Gorbachev’s peace initiatives.

The main culprit for this dangerous evolution is US imperialism, which took advantage of the fall of the Soviet Union in order to consolidate its global military network, expand its presence in various parts of the world and launch invasion wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Washington fostered in Russia and Eastern Europe the adoption of a brutal neoliberal program that created conditions for a far-right drift in most of these countries, especially Russia where it supported Boris Yeltsin’s antidemocratic coup in 1993.

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Fighting for Self-Determination – Yuliya Yurchenko explains “For Ukrainians it’s an existential fight. Our country’s identity, territorial boundaries, and our very existence is under attack right now”

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Introduction

Ukraine is fighting a war of liberation against a Russian Ethnic Cleanser state led by a violent far-right imperialist Vladimir Putin. All related issues are discussed in the interview below.

Spectre‘s Ashley Smith talked to Yuliya Yurchenko, author of Ukraine and the Empire of Capital: From Marketization to Armed Conflict (Pluto, 2018). She is a Lecturer in International Business and Researcher at the Public Services International Research Unit, the Centre for Business Network Analysis, and the Political Research Centre at the University of Greenwich.

Material like this is urgently required reading for anti-war activists in Ireland and elsewhere who are in love with the word BUT. “Ukrainians have the right to wage armed struggle” BUT “Oppose Sending NATO Arms to the Ukrainian Resistance – and its right-wing government”. History Lessons are easily unlearned – leading up to the Irish Easter 1916 Rising James Connolly’s left-wing Irish Citizens’ Army proudly promoted a banner : “We Serve Neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland”. Many of the guns used in the 1916 Rising were supplied by German Imperialism.

The Butistas talk as much as possible about right-wing characteristics of the Zelensky Government, throwing in wild exaggerations – and say next to nothing about the far more powerful far-right government of Vladimir Putin : promoter of sinister politicians like French Presidential contender Marine Le Pen.

In Dáil Éireann recently Sinn Féin and Labour Leaders Mary-Lou McDonald and Ivana Bacik called for the expulsion from Ireland of Russian Ambassador Yuri Filatov. The right-wing NATO friendly Dublin government vigorously opposed this call. Radical socialist TD’s made no public comment on this proposal, which is gaining some left wing trade union support. John Meehan April 22 2022

What are conditions like for people in Ukraine now amidst this war? What is the state of the military and civilian resistance to Russia’s invasion?

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French Presidential Elections – left eliminated from first round…again

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Dave Kellaway provides his initial analysis on the first round of the French presidential election results.

Source : http://europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article62053&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook. Also : https://anticapitalistresistance.org/french-elections-left-eliminated-from-first-roundagain/

  Contents  


[First Round results based on the latest estimates (21.00 CET): Not reproduced here.]

Results:

Emmanuel Macron: 27.8 %
Marine Le Pen: 23.2 %
Jean-Luc Melenchon: 22%
Eric Zemmour: 7.1
Valérie Pécresse: 4.8%
Jadot: 4.6%
Jean Lassale: 3.1%
Fabien Roussel: 2.3%
Dupont-Aignan: 2.1%
Anne Hidalgo: 1.8%
Philippe Poutou: 0.8%
Natalie Arthaud: 0.6%

An important conclusion : It would be irresponsible and very dangerous if people who voted for left and progressive parties stayed at home for the second round. Roussel for the CP has called for a vote for Macron to stop Le Pen. Melenchon has already called in his post-election address for his supporters to give not a single vote at all to Le Pen. Excellent. He combined this with a clear call for all the struggles to continue. Phillipe Poutou, candidate of the anticapitalists, has called, like Melenchon, for not one vote to be cast for Le Pen. He called for the biggest possible mobilisation against the far right on the 16 and 17 April.

 A re-run of 2017?

Sometimes history does repeat itself. The incumbent president, Macron, will face a re-run of the 2017 second round against the far right Marine Le Pen. He has continued to hold on to the blocs of ex SP voters and some moderate conservatives from the right wing Republicans party. Melenchon has by a significant margin has been the most voted candidate on the left. His score is two points better than last time and puts his movement in a strong position in relation to the rest of the left. He is the undisputed leader of the left although he is now likely to take a step back, since he will not stand again for president.

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“You either support Russian imperialism or Ukraine’s right to determine its own future, together with its civilians. Period” – Notes from a Correspondent in England

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Mark Findlay reviews the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, and reactions from the left in England. The article comes from Mark’s Facebook Page,

NATO or not NATO?


Much is being said about NATO aid to Ukraine; this morning (11/04/2022), I read from Graham Durham on Facebook:


“It was good to see the pro NATO demo on Saturday, called by the PCS union and disgracefully publicised by the TUC , was a tiny flop.
The warmongering demand to ‘Arm Ukraine ‘ is a disgrace to the trade union movement which should be demanding an end to NATO expansion and aggression . As deadly weapons are sent by NATO countries to extend the war some feeble ‘leftists ‘ argue it is not NATO doing this but individual countries
No to War .Stop NATO warmongering
Monday greetings to all in the 5.38 club”


The above is fairly typical from much of the Left. Frankly, I find it hard even to include such a disgraceful post in my text. Not one word about the role of Putin and Russian imperialism, overwhelmingly the aggressor in the current war. This post neatly summarises the Tankie position. Effectively, they want Russia to win. There is no choice in the matter; either Ukraine fights them off, or it’s game over, and Russia will have won at least a large chunk of Ukraine, perhaps the entire Black sea coast plus much of the East, and Kyiv would still remain at threat. If you don’t allow Ukraine to acquire weapons, you are inviting its defeat. This is war-mongering on behalf of Putin.


Here is an exchange in the comments to the above post:

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Old schemes and new schisms

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Guest post by Des Derwin

There are two general templates, one for each side of the divide on the war that is now congealing on the left, and which will mark it for the next period. Views on the war, often backed up with evidence and argument, often, and increasingly, assuming one or other of the templates and theories, spring from those assumptions, with the assumed basic starting point being increasingly advanced as a premise, even a common sense argument. People on the left are now beginning to settle into talking past each other on Ukraine, with some accompanying denunciation and insult. 

Expressing it simply and analogously, one template is a war like a gang war, like the Kinahan-Hutch feud  toward which any reasonable and sociable person would be neutrally hostile to both sides, against both sides and for the war to end; a war between two sets of robbers and murderers to end, full stop, right now. 

The other template sees the invasion of Ukraine as an aggravated burglary in which a modest house is broken into, the occupants assaulted, older people beaten and the place ransacked almost beyond repair. If some at home could defend themselves no reasonable person would object to that, or say they should stop and allow their house to be wrecked and their relations beaten. If you could help the defender you would, even to the extent of handing them a weapon or joining with them if you could. You would, horror, probably call the cops.

There are sub-templates of course, as some believe that one of the gangs in the first template, the Hutches perhaps, are better in one way or another. Are pressed and provoked by the Kinahans, who are the dominant gang, and it would be better by far if the Hutches – who have actually struck first and spectacularly, struck a weaker neighbour friendly to the Kinahans – won and weakened the Kinahans. A few don’t see the Hutches as a gang at all and want them to win. Another variant is that there are two levels to the war, the gang feud (an inter-imperialist war), and simultaneously brutal shootings in homes and neighbourhoods when innocent ‘civilians’ get killed (a war of imperialist aggression and national defense). Some recognise both levels, prioritise the first and warn against defensive help to the victim in case it escalates all the way to Armageddon.

These schematic starting points invest the attitude of the myriad of left groups and individuals. Many base their approach on evidence, many base it on a precooked or underlying geopolitical worldview, with evidence, and sometimes with little evidence; many (non-political) people quickly reach their own spontaneous conclusions based on their own common sense and decency, and some reasonable credibility in the mainstream news media. 

These broadly rival templates overlap and operate within previous great gulfs like stalinism, trotskyism, anarchism and even left social democracy. They are the tip of previously developing and now hardening differences in political weltanschauung.

For the record I fall broadly under the second template. The war is a brutal invasion by an imperialist power. There is a context of rival imperialisms certainly, as there are several contexts for everything political and military: class exploitation, regional political and material interests, particular histories, workers’ internationalism, the climate crisis, etc, etc. 

There are fallouts which our local rulers will seek to use in the usual ‘shock doctrine’ way, which we need to resist, in Ireland’s case ending or diluting formal neutrality and initiating expensive militarisation. Maybe neutrality might paradoxically be the issue on which the Irish left can universally agree and unite on in common activity. But maybe not after the risen temperatures of our own civil war within the war. 

Written by tomasoflatharta

Apr 10, 2022 at 6:20 pm

“Putin’s War is an Imperialist Adventure” – Statement by Independent Left (Ireland)

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This is an excellent statement, reproduced here in full.

Source : https://independentleft.ie/statement_ukraine/?fbclid=IwAR169Szy23jqdCOt_L6kKF5vPoekgKKrpt2d9sdQe4WSz1MbwEa-9N7XjZM

Independent Left condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine; Putin’s war is an imperialist adventure. We support the demand for complete withdrawal of Russian forces from all of Ukraine.

We support the right of the Ukrainian people to resist the Russian invasion by all means necessary – armed and civil resistance. We defend the right of the Ukrainian working class to arm themselves so as to resist conquest by the Russian army. If they are able to do so, despite extraordinary disparity of military equipment, the defeat of the Russian army will inspire resistance to imperialism of all forms, whether US-led, Chinese-led, or by any other major power tempted to use force to further their interests.

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